As children we are are trained to not feel and stuff our negative emotions. Be a big girl, boys don’t cry, or that’s not that big of a deal, don’t be a baby. The world teaches us to be strong at all costs.
I remember when I was 26 years old and just divorced. My Mother died 6 months later and I had to buck up and be strong. Besides never being able to share my feelings when I was younger, then in that moment I wasn’t able to express my sadness, fear and high anxiety because I felt like I needed to be strong.
So, we keep stuffing and stuffing all of our emotions and feelings and we are shocked when these stuffed feelings come out in less than positive ways. We can only repress our feeling for so long before they surface eventually. In my Personal Retreats I teach people how to connect to their feelings and learn how to express them in a healthy way.
Here are ways that our unexpressed emotions play out:
- We Care Take-When we take care of others by trying to fix their situation, it’s because we don’t want to feel our own feelings that are coming up. It’s also way easier to spend time on someone else’s problems than look at our emotions.
- Stay Busy- If we are always busy, running from one commitment to the next, it’s impossible to be connected to how you feel.
- Be Positive- Pretending that everything is always good, never allows unexpressed feelings to surface. Only allowing positive feelings to come out and discounting negative emotions, only creates more stuffing.
- Rage Explosions- We can only keep our emotions or feelings contained for so long. Eventually those feelings will surface in anger through yelling or even worse physical violence.
- Withdrawal or Depression- Both of these behaviors come from not expressing feelings and allowing them to sit inside us. When we have unexpressed feelings we may run away from the situation or feelings either physically or mentally.
- Control Everything- The need to control everything that happens to you is because you want to actually control the way you feel. If I control this situation, I can feel good.
- Hypochondriac- Constantly thinking your sick all the time could possibly be emotions sitting in your body for too long. You are either having real sickness that the stuffed emotions are creating or you just think you are sick to occupy your mind so that you don’t have to feel.
- Being With The Wrong People- If you were with people that you could connect to, you would develop intimacy. It’s tough to have intimacy without feeling.
- Everything is a Joke- Joking constantly is a way of avoiding how you are feeling. Look at me, everything is great, I’m laughing and having fun and maybe dying inside.
- Stay Strong- As long as I’m strong and I can handle everything in my life, I don’t have to feel my feelings. I can handle it, is an exterior way of being that often indicates stuffed feelings.